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San Antonio Zoo. Lucky. Help Release Her from Captivity. Cruel Conditions. Animal Cruelty by Captivity and Profit.

I received this email from In Defense of Animals, and I will just post it here in its entirety because it speaks so well for itself. Please, don't just read it. Take action. Send those emails to the proper authorities in whose hands this elephant's life is in. This elephant doesn't have a large area to live in plus her mate died a year ago and she's the lone elephant now. It's time to give this elephant her freedom. Forty Six years on display. Lord, have mercy. The zoo has earned enough money off her already. For pity's sake, let her go. How could they even name this elephant, Lucky. To the San Antonio Zoo officials, this matter will not go away. The life, or the lack of it, that you insist Lucky should live in your compound is already a source of embarrassment for your zoo, a stain on your reputation, and an indication of your level of humanity. You can argue that you know what's best for Lucky, but the facts don't agree with that. What right have you to take away an animal's freedom for 46 years? What right have you to deny Lucky her freedom now that the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee is willing to pay all cost to free her?


Help Send Lucky to a Sanctuary!
San Antonio Zoo elephant is held in cruel isolation

Lucky desperately needs your help. She’s a 48-year-old female Asian elephant who has been living alone at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas since the death of her companion, Alport, almost one year ago. Female elephants are intensely social, making her solitary confinement especially cruel.

In addition to Lucky’s inhumane isolation, she likely suffers from foot problems, as evidenced by the zoo’s frequent foot treatments, and has a large abscess on her back leg. Foot problems are no surprise, as the San Antonio Zoo elephant display is extremely small and outdated, giving Lucky only about one-half acre of barren space.

Foot problems and arthritis, caused by inadequate zoo conditions, are the number one reason for euthanizing elephants in captivity. Another elephant at the San Antonio Zoo, Ginny, was euthanized in 2004 after suffering for years from painful, infected feet and arthritis.

As if all this weren’t bad enough, the San Antonio Zoo is adding a unique twist to Lucky’s story. The zoo is constructing a new attraction that will feature African animals, including elephants. As Lucky is an Asian elephant she will have no place in this new display. Yet rather than retire Lucky to a sanctuary, the zoo has come up with a nonsensical plan to bring in another Asian elephant and then ship out both Asian elephants when the African section is complete!

After 46 years on display in a tiny, unnatural exhibit at the San Antonio Zoo, Lucky deserves to be sent to a spacious natural-habitat sanctuary where she can spend her final years roaming freely in the company of other Asian elephants. Once at the sanctuary and living on soft, natural surfaces, many elephants see improvement in foot problems.

A coalition of San Antonio activists needs your help to urge city leaders to do everything in their power to help Lucky, including sponsoring a resolution to send her to a sanctuary.

Please make a call or send a letter today!

Please write a polite letter to Mayor Phil Hardberger and the following city council members and let them know that:
It is cruel to keep Lucky in solitary confinement.
Lucky shows signs of foot disease caused by decades of life in a tiny, inadequate exhibit; she must removed immediately from that damaging environment.
The City of San Antonio should do the right thing and show it cares about Lucky’s welfare by sponsoring a resolution to send her to a sanctuary.
Lucky’s sorry condition is a black eye for the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Zoo.
CONTACT: Here's an e-mail string of all the contacts listed below. If you're sending them each the same e-mail, cut and paste this string into your "cc" field:,,,,,,,,,,

Mayor Phil Hardberger
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
Phone: 207-7060/7107
Fax: 210-207-4168

District 1 - Mary Alice P. Cisneros
Phone: (210) 207-7279
Email: or use the message form at

District 2 - Sheila D. McNeil
Phone: (210) 207-7278

District 3 - Jennifer V. Ramos
Phone: (210) 207-7064

District 4 - Philip A. Cortez
Phone: (210) 207-7281

District 5 - Lourdes Galvan
Phone: (210) 207-7043

District 6 - Delicia Herrera
Phone: (210) 207-7065

District 7 - Justin Rodriguez
Phone: (210) 207-7044

District 8 - Diane G. Cibrian
Phone: (210) 207-7086

District 9 - Louis E. Rowe
Phone: (210) 207-7325

District 10 - John G. Clamp
Phone: (210) 207-7276

The San Antonio News-Express recently ran an op ed about Lucky. You can view it at Please write a letter to the editor of the San Antonio News-Express at Include your daytime phone number and address for verification purposes only. No word count is stated, but letters to the editor are generally limited to 150-200 words.

For more information on Lucky’s plight, please visit (where you can also sign an on-line petition) and


Julie said…
Whoever wrote this letter is obviously ignorant, and uninformed. This elephant was brought to this zoo when she was just a baby (two years old). She is now 49, so has lived in this area for 47 years. She has lived longer than most elephants in captivity, and I think that speaks for the care that has actually been taken with this animal. While around 70 years is the lifespan of elephants in the wild, 49 years is a long time for a captive elephant, and to move her at this point would cause a lot of undue stress. Additionally, giving an elderly elephant a new environment with a lot of space could be dangerous. She's not accustomed to it, and if something does happen to her, it could take a long time to find her, and by then it could be too late. Leave her where she is. She has many caretakers who she has known for a long time, round the clock vet care, and they are trying to find her a friend. Unfortunately, you can't just buy an elephant on ebay. These things take time. Be patient. Lucky has done great, and will continue to do so. Thank you, San Antonio, for taking such good care of her. I'm sorry that there are people out there who mean well, but really don't have a clue.
Chessbuff said…
Julie, thank you for commenting.

If we were to argue this way, then there is no way for a captive elephant to ever realize a life outside a zoo or circus. I disagree that a life in a zoo could be an acceptable substitute to a life out in nature. The holding pen for elephants at any zoo is far from being their natural environment. First, their freedom is taken away at an early age. And then, after many, many years of captivity and exploitation, their release is then considered bad for them. What a cruel and convenient way to box in an animal for a life of captivity and exploitation.

This reminds me of how we view immigrants to this country. If they turn out to be public charges and unsuccessful in this country, we complain about the kind of immigrants we accept. But, if they become successful, wealthy and influential, people complain that their taken over!

Quit this double standard on the elephants. Don't capture them in the first place. That's the only way people can show and say that they care about the elephants.

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